Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Movie Review: "For Your Convenience" (2017)

Director: Joey Celia & Matthew Talbot
Year: 2017
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 17 minutes

We had the opportunity to watch @matthewtalbot_ and @joeycelia in their new film "For Your Convenience." This is "an independently made full-length movie by high schoolers." The summary is as follows: Jason and Nick are two teenagers desperate for money. Jason wants to go to college to pursue his dreams of being a hockey player, and Nick, with no prospects for a higher education, wants enough money to buy proper movie making equipment. Jason gets the bright idea for the pair of them to be like "Butch Cassidy and the other guy," oh wait, "the Sundance Kid," and become robbers. After the buzz from their first attempt, Nick becomes addicted to the high of stealing and can't wait for their next score.

Though this is clearly a movie made with no budget, a ton of friend and family support, and what appears to be a single camera (just like the one used in Nick's short film in the movie), it is abundantly clear that Matthew and Joey have a tremendous passion for film and filmmaking. The character of Nick can't go one scene without quoting a movie or dropping a movie inference, which we liked because we get all of the references! They have borrowed what they have seen from watching some of cinema's best films and have done their darnedest to implement many, many, many of these techniques as the camera spins and twirls and shots are blurred or backlit with various colors. This is one of the downfalls of this film because there is a lot going on technically. We wish they had stuck with a few camera tricks that worked well for such a small-scale story instead of trying to give the audience a sensory overloaded visual smorgasbord.

We did notice a couple of continuity errors because of the necessity to change camera angles while shooting, though these moments aren't so completely distracting that they take you out of the movie. We like the attention to detail when doing things behind the scenes like hiding the camera as a character walks past a mirror so no equipment or people are being shown in the shadows or reflections. The story might not be anything new or earth-shattering in terms of originality, in fact, it reminded us of a dozen other similar crime caper flicks. Since Joey and Matthew are high schoolers and not actors, we don't really expect Leonardo DiCaprio levels of acting from anyone in front of the screen. However, everyone in this movie remained composed, and their fervor and energy for this project come through in their portrayals of these characters.

Every filmmaker makes a ton of amateur movies, and Matthew and Joey were willing to put it all on the line to make and display their original film "For Your Convenience."  It is a valiant first attempt at filmmaking, and if they hone their technical and writing skills over the coming months and years, chances are, someone may be seeing them showcasing their work in film festivals in the future.

This movie will be screening TOMORROW NIGHT (09/14/2017) at the Katherdral Events Center in Hammonton, NJ! Visit @foryourconveniencemovie for more information!

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